Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Adding an ‘online’ indicator to your email signatures and blogs.

It is very easy to add an icon showing your online status (on yahoo messenger and AIM) to your email signatures and blogs.

Edit your email signature and modify the content as follows(Make sure to use HTML view):

<font face=Tahoma size=2>
<strong>Ashish Patil</strong><BR>
Consultant (.NET Technologies)<BR>
yahoo id: your yahoo id
<a href="http://edit.yahoo.com/config/send_webmesg?.target=[your_yahoo_id]&.src=pg">
<img border=0 src="http://opi.yahoo.com/online?u=[your_yahoo_id]&m=g&t=0"></a><BR>
<A href="http://ashishpatil.blogspot.com">

If you sent an email using this signature you should see something like this. To the right is small icon that shows your online status .

The lines to watch out are:

<a hrefhttp://edit.yahoo.com/config/send_webmesg?.target=[your_yahoo_id]&.src=pg >
<img border=0 src="http://opi.yahoo.com/online?u=[ your_yahoo_id]&m=g&t=0"></a>

Look at the ‘src’ attribute closely . In place of 0 , if we pass other values we get different images.

AIM users can use this technique to display if they are online or not:

border = 0 >

But the disadvantage here is that you can't click on the image and send a message to user. AOL seems to have a nice API for doing what we want here http://developer.aim.com/faq.jsp#presence

I tried doing same with Microsoft Outlook signatures , but it doesn't work. Outlook seems to be replacing the URL with copy of image from its cache. I am looking for a workaround to accomplish it.

Note : Many email clients/services dont show images by default.You may have to click on 'download images' or 'show images' hyperlink.

Enjoy !

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dojo : First Impressions

There is a lot of talk about Web 2.0 . Toolkits like Dojo are going to play major role in it. We have already seen awesome applications of AJAX( google maps !) and javascript (http://www.live.com/) to create desktop like web applications.I found Dojo on DeveloperIQ (May 2006) magazine CD.I have been looking for something very similar since long. In fact I was also trying to create simple draggable HTML control.

First , let me admit that Dojo has almost everything I needed. It has a nice library of javascript widgets. My favoirte widget is the 'FloatingPane' that enables you to create a window like container , that is draggable , has minimize/maximize buttons and cool shadows.It can contain more widgets and text.Another awesome widget is 'FisheyeList' .It is basically a toolbar, but when you move your cursor over any icon, the corresponding icon pops out like an fish eye!The tree control in one more interesting control I tried out. There is very scanty documentation available on their web site, more can be expected as the project grows.There is always a way of finding out functionality ......going though the source code !

FloatingPane Widget whit tree control(left) and 'FisheyeList' control in action(right)

Google has just released it AJAX toolkit , which it claims works only with JAVA. Microsoft's ATLAS , I have heard is somewhat coupled with .NET 2.0.What I personally like about Dojo is that it is neutral to server side development enviornment.

The desktop look ! (Dojo widgets on a web page)

Also the toolkit does seem to 'perform' with IE and Firefox .All developers irrespective of language they are developing (JSP,PHP...) can benifit from Dojo.

I personally feel that , with web-development becoming more and more complex , the days of such toolkits have arrived. If you are into serious web-application development and looking for a light-weight, multiple browser compliant, pure JavaScript, standalone toolkit ...then Dojo is
for you!

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